Patriots 35, Giants 14: 10 quick thoughts from injury-filled win

Ryan Hannable
October 10, 2019 - 11:24 pm

FOXBOROUGH — Welcome to Thursday Night Football.

In a physical, ugly game, the Patriots came away with a 35-14 win over the Giants, but it was an injury-filled night with the blue medical tent behind the sideline seeing the most action.

The final score does not indicate just how close the game was, as the Patriots scored 14 points in the middle-to-end of the final quarter.

Here are 10 quick observations from the game.

1. As a unit, the Patriots offense once again struggled. The ground game couldn’t get going and therefore the Giants defense was able to key in on James White and others in the passing game. Tom Brady was decent, going 31-for-41 with 334 yards, but also had a terrible interception intended for Julian Edelman in the first half. Edelman fought through his chest injury and had a tremendous night. He finished with nine catches on 15 targets for 113 yards.

2. It was another fluky game for the defense, as it allowed its first passing touchdown of the season, but Jonathan Jones tipped the ball on the play and it fell into Golden Tate’s hands going for a 64-yard touchdown. It also scored a touchdown on a Kyle Van Noy fumble recovery and picked off rookie Daniel Jones three times. The unit continues to play at a historic level, as the other seven points allowed were scored on a strip-sack returned for a touchdown.

3. Josh Gordon left the game in the second quarter with what looked like a nasty knee injury, but he remained on the sideline and came back out for the second half. He never re-entered the game, though. But, based on how the injury looked on video, the Patriots may have dodged a bullet. His injury is one to monitor as the wide receivers room needs him desperately.

4. It was a good night for Jakobi Meyers, as for the first time all season he seemed to show he has the trust of Brady. The rookie finished with four catches on four targets for 54 yards. Undrafted rookie Gunner Olszewski also contributed two catches, the first of his career.

5. The Patriots got another blocked punt return for a touchdown when Brandon Bolden got through the line with ease and got his hands on the ball, knocking it straight in the air. It landed right in Chase Winovich’s arms and he ran the six yards into the end zone for the first score of the game. This was the Patriots’ second blocked punt for a touchdown this season.

6. Mike Nugget missed a kick for a second straight game, as he hit the left upright from 40 yards out in the third quarter. It was towards the open end of the stadium on a windy night. The conditions were a factor and the Patriots passed a few long field goal attempts to go for it on fourth down. It’s unclear how much was due to the conditions, or Nugent. He did make all five of his extra points.

7. The offensive line continues to be an issue. While it has its moments, overall it wasn’t a great game for the unit. Brady was under a good amount of pressure and the holes were not there for the Patriots running backs. It also appears Sony Michel has been pulled from short-yardage situations in favor of Brandon Bolden and quarterback sneaks. This is not a good sign for the 2018 first-round pick.

8. Defensive tackle Michael Bennett continues to have a small role with the defense. The veteran barely played and it was likely less than he did last week in Washington. Bill Belichick commented this week how he is working on fitting into the Patriots’ scheme.

9. Injuries were a major part of the game, as in addition to Gordon, Dont'a Hightower, Jakob Johnson, Matt LaCosse and Patrick Chung left with injuries. Chung did not return with a chest injury, which comes following him missing last game with a heel injury. The mini-bye will do a number of Patriots well.

10. Even with Rex Burkhead out and the windy conditions, rookie Damien Harris was once again inactive. The rookie running back has only been active for one game this season. It’s unclear if there’s something going on behind the scenes with him, or perhaps he’s just on essentially a red-shirt year like Shane Vereen and White did in their rookie years.

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